For the month of February during this Jubilee of Mercy year, the Corporal Work of Mercy theme is “Visit the Sick”. Here are some helpful tips to think about if you are considering visiting someone who is ill.
* Whether in the hospital or at home, it is always a good idea to call and see if the person who is ill is up to having visitors.
* Consider a phone visit, spend time listening to the person as they talk about what is on their mind.
* Try to remain positive in your choice of topics. Don’t push for more information than they are ready to reveal about their illness and remember to focus on their issues not your own.
If you do go to visit, be mindful of the following:
* Presence not Presents – Don’t think you must bring something with you, just stopping in to read to someone, watch a favorite TV show or play cards is a gift to most people and a short break for the caregiver who may be able to take a quick nap or get a shower while you are there.
* 90 – 10 Rule – Listen 90% of the time and talk 10% of the time. You don’t have to talk, sitting quietly with someone means a lot.
* Thanks for not Sharing! – Stop and wash your hands before going in to visit the person and if you are feeling sick err on the side of caution and stay away. Sharing time is wonderful, sharing germs is not.
* Sending Cards or Spiritual Bouquets – is a wonderful way to show how you are thinking of them throughout the day. It can be an ongoing reminder to brighten their day.